Says Diana Szynal will continue Peter Kocot’s legacy

Six months ago, I lost a friend and the region lost one of the brightest, most knowledgeable and most dedicated legislators with the loss of Peter Kocot.

While it’s impossible to fill the shoes of this “gentle giant,” the 1st Hampshire District deserves a state representative who will follow in his footsteps and continue his legacy. Only one candidate, Diana Szynal, was with Rep. Kocot every step of the way during his stellar career.

There is little to differentiate the two candidates in the Sept. 4 Democratic primary relative to policy as they have similar positions on all the key issues. Where they differ is the knowledge and experience that they bring to the position.

Like Rep. Kocot, Szynal has served as a legislative aide and, as district director, worked side-by-side with him for 16 years serving the people and communities of the 1st Hampshire District.

Like Rep. Kocot, Szynal understands how local and state government works and knows who to call to resolve a constituent problem on day one.

Like Rep. Kocot, Szynal is a true progressive, committed to represent everyone in the district, regardless of party, ideology or the community where they live.

Like Rep. Kocot, Szynal is not a single-issue candidate and knows that priorities and challenges differ across communities and sectors.

Like Rep. Kocot, Szynal knows that legislative success depends upon developing working relationships with colleagues and she has already received the support of a majority of the women Democrats and independents in the Massachusetts House.

Like Rep. Kocot, Szynal is committed to helping people and serving others without the need for public fanfare and numerous press releases.

Since Rep. Kocot’s untimely passing, Szynal continued as district director, meeting with constituents and serving the communities of the 1st Hampshire District. I worked closely with her, filing district legislation and budget amendments and saw firsthand why she will be an outstanding legislator.

I am proud to be joined by Rep. Steve Kulik, former Rep. Ellen Story, and many of Szynal’s future colleagues in the Massachusetts House in supporting her for state representative. Please join us and vote for Diana Szynal on Sept. 4.

John Scibak

South Hadley

The writer is state representative for the 2nd Hampshire District.